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HIP202 Research Skills Guide: PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database)

Introduction to PEDro

PEDro is a free Australian online database of trials, reviews, and guidelines in physiotherapy.  It is produced by the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, a collaborative research hub developed by the University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District.

This resource gives access to citations and (usually) abstracts of journal articles and other items.

Pros and cons: advantages of using PEDro:

  • The database covers only phsyiotherapy-related material
  • The database also covers only Evidence-Based Practice material
  • It's a free resource, so you will have access to it even after graduating
  • It was the first free allied health evidence-based practice database of its kind. It claims to be a "a well-established, robust and trusted site". This claim is probably justified.
  • It has three search modes: Advanced, Simple, and Consumer
  • You can search using one of the search modes above (Advanced is recommended), or browse research in your area of interest
  • The provision of text boxes, drop-down menus, and other lines of search, in Advanced Search, allows for flexibility in searching
  • Trials have been rated to help you assess their validity
  • Search results are listed in a level-of-evidence hierarchy.

Pros and cons: disadvantages of using PEDro:

  • It's a relatively small database
  • The search functionality is not as sophisticated as in larger health databases - eg. there is a Search History but you can't use it to combine search sets. The provision of Boolean operator options at the very bottom of the Advanced Search page is unusual
  • There are only limited direct links to full-text, and there are no Find It - CSU links (so you can't link through to Charles Sturt subscribed materials).

Hints on using PEdro


From the PEDro home screen you can choose to search, browse, learn about EBP, access related resources, or learn about PEDro. 



Advanced Search is recommended for health professionals. There are numerous lines of search, including 

  • an Abstract/Title free text box
  • drop-down menus for Therapy, Problem, Body Part, Subdiscipline, Topic, and Method
  • further free-text boxes for Author/Association, Title Only, and Source
  • further search boxes covering various criteria.

You can combine the different lines of search using Boolean (combining) operators. Note that the option to set these is at the very bottom of the page. The operator you select applies both to terms within a search box and to the boxes as well. The default is to combine with AND.

In the free-text search boxes you can use truncation (*), and force a phrase search by enclosing your terms in double quotation marks.



Your results will be presented as brief records. They are sorted by level of evidence. You can click on a title to view the article details. You can select certain records, and Display Selected.

At the list of Selected Records, you can export to EndNote.

You shouldn't expect to get the full articles in your results. Where links to full-text are provided, they might work from on-campus, but not from off-campus. You might need to search for the articles in Primo Search to get the full-text.